The Akhal Teke (ah-kahl tee-kee) is a rare breed of horse. There are only a few thousand in the world as of 2005.
What does an Akhal Teke look like? Well, imagine an Arabian horse, if you will. Hot blooded, clean and elegant lines, built for speed and agility, flaring nostrils, and huge dark eyes fringed with dark lashes... simply beautiful. That is the starting point. Then sprinkle fairy dust over it. Elongate it somehow, slenderize and chisel its appearance down to the very fibre of its being…it becomes almost ethereal. Smart, tall, strong, clean-gaited, gifted with speed and endurance, and exquisitely beautiful –- its glossy coat seeming to actually glow with a metallic sheen -- that is an Akhal Teke.
If ever the lady Galadriel rode a horse, she must have ridden an Akhal Teke.
The Akhal Teke originated in Turkmenistan, in a very hot and dry environment. It is, quite possibly, the oldest known breed of domesticated horse, and with all probability it contributed much to the Arabian and Thoroughbred breeds. The very name “Akhal Teke” is comprised of a combination of a place name and a tribal name, which in itself is indicative of the breed's antiquity.
The Nez Perce nation is currently working to re-create and re-shape the Appaloosas they once lost on their trail of persecution and death by crossing purchases and donations of Appaloosas from private breeders with Akhal Tekes. I have tried to find additional information about the crossbreeding program, and have come up with a few references (please see below) but no details whatsoever. I suspect the lack of information is a direct result of the desire for privacy, and I respect that right.
I strongly encourage more noding on this subject by people more horse-knowledgeable than I am. This is a beautiful breed, and the more that is known about it, the better. Also, please do read the references below, at least the first one, as there is a wealth of information there, not to mention pictures.